Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a different prompt and book bloggers create lists of their top ten choices in response. Visit their blog for more information on how to get involved.

 This week's prompt is: Top Ten Books to Read During Halloween

1) House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: I just reread this book and will be reviewing it later this week, but this is one of those novels that instantly springs to mind whenever someone says they're looking for a creepy read. This unsettling story of a family living in a house bigger on the inside than it is on the outside never fails to give me the willies (as evidenced by my lack of sleep last night). Dealing more with the demons within and with the fear of darkness than with any tangible thing that goes bump in the night, House of Leaves gets under your skin and stays there for months after you've read it. 

2) The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams: Someone recently returned this book to the library while I was working and it immediately brought back memories of childhood Halloweens, especially the October in first grade when my teacher read this to us in class. I've always loved this book and, if I ever become a father, I'll read this to my kids every Halloween (or at least until they go, "Dad, seriously, I'm 45. Stop coming over to read to me at night."). The story of a little old lady who lives alone but who feels no fear, this book is a ton of fun.

3) The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: I just read this book (as in, this month) but already I'm adding it to my very short list of favorite haunted house novels of all time. I say short because, well, it is the list. I don't read much horror, psychological or otherwise, so for the time being The Haunting of Hill House, a chilling novel about four strangers staying in a haunted house for the summer, is in a league of its own.

4) Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz: When I was in elementary school, I devoured these books. With their creepy (and sometimes funny) stories and their spooky illustrations, the Scary Stories books were always cherished favorites.

5) Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum: Mecum has a few books of supernatural haiku out now, but, in my opinion, his best is his slim volume of haiku written by a zombie. Hilarious, disturbing, and often nauseating, Zombie Haiku is amazing. This book is awesome/A great pick for Halloween/A haiku review.

6) The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat by Stan and Jan Berenstain: In trying to find the title of this book, I discovered that I'd been spelling "Berenstain" wrong for the last two decades. Awesome. Anyway, any one of these books are worth picking up, but since it's Halloween, I'm recommending this one. It's a cute story about Brother and Sister Bear trick or treating one Halloween.

7) Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore: It's not often that you'll see me advertising books about vampires on here, so you know this one's got to be worth a read. This book follows the adventure of two newly-made vampires who are also just beginning to date each other. With Moore's signature humor and odd way of looking at the world, Bloodsucking Fiends is a very readable vampire novel. And there's no sparkling. Not exactly a Halloween book, but it's close enough.

8) Fear Street by R.L. Stein: I grew up on Stein's books, both the Goosebumps series and the Fear Street novels. While obviously written with a younger audience in mind, Fear Street books can actually be quite chilling. The Fear Street Saga is a trilogy that I remember liking a lot, so if you're looking to read any of them, I'd suggest those first.

9) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: Whether you look at it as a novel about Victorian repression or as just a creepy, well-written novel, the story of Dr. Jekyll and his horrendous creation, Mr. Hyde, is worth a read. It's slim, fast-paced, and raises lots of interesting questions about the nature of good and evil in the hearts of men.

10) The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman: No TTT list here at Gabriel Reads is ever complete without Neil Gaiman. While not a Halloween book, The Wolves in the Walls is a great children's book that has the same creepy atmosphere that makes all of Gaiman's books so much fun to read.



  1. Lots I haven't read on this list. I really must get on and read all the Moore books I have lying around! The Haunting of Hill House came up on my radar recently so I might add it to the Halloween pile this year.

  2. Ellie: The Haunting of Hill House was incredible. I'm actually going to be reading another one of her books (We Have Always Lived in the Castle) at some point in the near future. I was so impressed with her as a writer that I need more Jackson in my life. :)

  3. Fantastic list. I love Neil Gaiman's childrens picture books. My favourite is "The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish." Fantastic illustrations. I loved Fear Street too. I used to read those and Point Horror but Fear Street was the better. Possibly because it was set in the same street and town. Loved the Saga books too.

  4. Karen: I haven't read that one yet. One of my old roommates used to bring children's books home from the library she worked at and one of them was The Wolves in the Walls. I wish there had been books like that when I was a kid.

    I never read Point Horror. In fact, I'm not sure if I remember those books. I may have to see if I can't find one or two to refresh my memory. I'd love to revisit some of the Fear Street books now, just to see if I still feel the same about them.